Toronto Regulatory Offences Lawyer
Regulatory offences refer to quasi-criminal legal rules that govern the activities of individuals and corporations. Regulatory statutes are designed to reduce the danger and harm that can arise in everyday situations, and encompasses traffic rules, public health guidelines, workplace health and safety, tax and securities rules, as well as statutes to discourage bankruptcy. There are regulatory statutes at both the provincial and federal levels, and they can sometimes overlap. Furthermore, in specific instances, persons may face both criminal and regulatory prosecutions as a result of the same act. As a result, defending regulatory offences can be quite complex.
While regulatory crimes are not the same as criminal acts, the consequences of a regulatory offence can be very serious and very similar. Jail, a fine, the loss of a driver’s licence, asset forfeiture, and restrictions from participating in certain activities are just some of the possibilities. Provincial offences are classified as quasi-criminal since the requirements of evidence and disclosure are similar, and the penalties might include imprisonment.
Alex Karapancev has experience defending corporations and directors facing prosecution for regulatory offences throughout Ontario. Our firm represents clients charged with regulatory offences in Toronto and all throughout Ontario.
What are regulatory offences
There are numerous offences that are not covered under the Criminal Code. While not necessarily criminal, regulatory violations can result in harsh fines, penalties, and at times even imprisonment. These statutes are sometimes referred to as “public welfare” regulations. They are frequently used to ensure that people take the proper steps to adhere to required standards when participating in particular activities. These rules govern a wide range of activities, from driving a car to ensuring that professions, corporations, and industries operate safely.
The Strict Liability standard applies to a wide range of regulatory offences. They are duty-based offences in the sense that failing to meet a specified standard of care—that is, failing to perform the prescribed duty—can result in an offence being committed. If you are accused of one of these crimes, it is up to you to prove that you used due diligence at the time of the alleged wrongdoing. Charges of this sort can land you in front of a court or regulatory body, which have the power to levy fines and penalties, limit your privileges, and interfere with your ability to work. Charges like this can have a significant impact on your personal life as well as your professional reputation.
Because of the nature of these offences, a proactive and affirmative defence is required. At Karapancev Law, we work tirelessly to gain a complete understanding of the facts of your case in order to craft a strong defence.
How regulatory laws differ from typical criminal offences
Unlike criminal code offences, which always involve fault or moral blameworthiness, regulatory offences do not always involve fault. In certain situations, negligence can suffice.
There are three types of regulatory offences, each with its own requirements:
Absolute Liability offences – To secure a conviction for an absolute liability offence, all the Crown must do is prove that the prohibited act occurred, beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant cannot exculpate themselves by demonstrating that they were free of fault for these offences.
Strict Liability offences – the prosecution is not required to prove mens rea (intention to commit a crime) because the commission of the prohibited act prima facie constitutes the offence, leaving it to the accused to establish, on the balance of probabilities, that he or she used all reasonable care to prevent the act from occurring.This defence will be viable if the defendant had a reasonable belief in a mistaken set of facts that, if true, would exonerate the act or omission, or if they took all reasonable steps to avoid the particular consequence.
Mens Rea offences – these offences require the prosecution to prove some positive state of mind, such as intent, knowledge, or recklessness, either by way of circumstantial evidence or by direct evidence.
Common Regulatory Statutes
Throughout the Greater Toronto Area, we defend clients prosecuted under all Provincial and Federal regulatory statutes, including:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Income Tax Act
- Consumer Protection Act
- Ontario Securities Act
- Real Estate and Business Brokers Act
- Competition Act
- Liquor Licence Act
- Motor Vehicle Dealer Act
- Highway Traffic Act
- Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act
- Environmental Protection Act
- Food and Drugs Act
- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
- Fire Protection and Prevention Act
Please do not hesitate to contact us today if you have been charged under one of these, or any other, regulatory acts.